Paul Jabara and Donna Summer
You might not know the name, but you know the music. Songwriter, producer, singer and actor Paul Jabara (1948-1992), of Lebanese ancestry, won an Academy Award in 1979 for writing the Donna Summer disco hit "Last Dance" (Oscar for best original song for 1978's “Thank God It’s Friday”). A native of Brooklyn, NY, he made his Broadway debut in the original cast of “Hair,” going on to create the role of King Herod in the original London production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Although he wrote songs for Barbra Streisand (“The Main Event”), Bette Midler (“Jinxed”) and a duet for Streisand and Summer (“Enough Is Enough”), he is perhaps better known as the author of “It’s Raining Men” (The Weather Girls). Jabara also produced Streisand’s Grammy Award-winning “Broadway Album.” As a singer himself, he released seven albums. “Paul Jabara and Friends” (1983) featured a 19-year-old Whitney Houston.
The incomparable WEATHER GIRLS:
Paul’s movie career included roles in "Midnight Cowboy," "The Lords of Flatbush," "The Day of the Locust," "Honky-Tonk Freeway," "Star 80," "Legal Eagles" and "Light Sleeper." He also appeared on television in "Starsky and Hutch," "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," "The Equalizer" and the made-for-television movies "The Last Angry Man" and "Out of the Darkness."
Jabara died from AIDS at just 44 years old. He is buried at the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, alongside such gay luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Fred Ebb (of Kander & Ebb), Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Dr. Richard Isay (see individual posts in sidebar).
LAST DANCE video -- Donna Summer
New York Times obituary (1992)